Microsoft Windows is aggravating me to no end. I click on a desktop icon; nothing happens. I click again and wait. When I get ready to click a third time, two copies of the program try to load. It takes my laptop with 512 mb of memory nearly five minutes to boot and three to four to shut down. I use XP which I believe is the best version of Windows thus far. I have not used Vista but from what I hear, it’s not much of an improvement. Dell continues to sell XP to businesses in spite of the new Vista OS. I click shutdown on my laptop and it doesn’t shutdown. When I walk back to the desk, Google toolbar is preventing Windows from closing and I have to click “End Now”. Other programs occasionally operate similarly in Windows. XP is very good but there are many user interface type annoyances like this. I am seriously considering an Apple for my next laptop and/or desktop even though there is a substantial price premium in that decision. Windows sympathizers say that Windows has had to adapt to many more hardware configurations that Apple, deal with viruses and firewall defense. Apple’s OS X has to work basically on only one hardware platform. I don’t really buy this anymore. Back when I could buy a Zeos computer, or when IBM was pushing microchannel technology, sure, I agree there were major hardware differences. Now, you have Dell, HP, Toshiba and not very many others selling PC’s using more or less the same designs. Microsoft could have adapted XP or Vista to a more rigid hardware platform in my opinion through better promulgation of standards. I wouldn’t rant so much if Windows were free or $29.95. The prices they are asking for Vista, which is up to $399 for the ultimate version, along with the confusing array of versions, and the associated annoyances will doom it.